Tag Archives: Mission Bay

Fabulous Bicycle Bridges of the West

By Richard Fox, enCYCLEpedia.net

Some of the most interesting and imaginative bridges in the western US and Canada are of the bike/pedestrian variety. Many have become showpieces and even tourist attractions.  It’s a great way for a municipality to both foster recreation opportunities for residents and visitors, and to bolster its reputation as a destination and a forward thinking community.

The prime example is Santiago Calatrava’s Sundial Bridge spanning the Sacramento River in Redding, Northern California.  This cantilever spar cable-stayed bridge actually forms a sundial, and its opaque decking is illuminated at night.  It has become the centerpiece and main attraction of Redding, known to cyclists for its 35 miles of bike trails along the Sacramento River, and has generated millions of dollars of tourist revenue. We witnessed the Bandaloop acrobats perform on the bridge for its 10th anniversary.

 

Also spanning the Sacramento River along its bike trail system is this unique stress-ribbon bridge.  Another stress-ribbon bridge in this region, that we have yet to visit, spans the Rogue River in Grants Pass Oregon.

 

The David Keitzer Lake Hodges Bike & Pedestrian bridge is 990 feet long, the longest stress- ribbon bridge in the world.  Lake Hodges is one of the prime easy-scenic mountain bike areas in San Diego County. These photos show a difference in the area during a wet and dry year.

 

The lovely Wagon Creek Bridge over the Wagon Creek inlet to  Lake Siskiyou near Mt. Shasta City completed a trail system around the entire lake.

 

The best example of incorporating art into a bike/ped bridge is in Tacoma, Washington.  The city’s rising star is reflected in its waterfront reconstruction and commitment to improving bicycling infrastructure. The Chihuly Bridge of Glass is a 500-foot-long bridge linking the Museum of Glass to downtown Tacoma and its cultural corridor. While more practical for peds, bikes are allowed on it as part of a fabulous tour of the Tacoma waterfront.  For those interested in glass art, the walls and ceilings full of glass sculptures and free-standing pieces make this a world class attraction.

 

A railroad trestle is a mainstay along many a rail trail, and the wooden Kinsol Trestle near Lake Cowichan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia was restored beyond its original glory as part of the Cowichan Valley Trail.  At 144 ft high and 617 ft long, it is the one of the largest structures of its type in the world.  Also in BC, the Myra Canyon trestles (not shown) near Kelowna are part of an iconic bike ride along the Kettle Valley Railroad rail trail.

 

The Pacific Electric regional rail trail in SoCal’s Inland Empire parallels historic Route 66, and the designers took full advantage of that fact by refurbishing this former railroad bridge with Route 66 designs. Cities from Claremont to Rialto have joined in to make this 21-mile path a successful regional feature.

 

Another refurbished railroad bridge in Folsom, CA, that connects to the American River regional trail,  evokes the old-west heritage of the town.

 

The Phoenix area is criss-crossed by canals and other aquatic infrastructure, and the municipalities have been generous about constructing bike trails along them.  Shown here are the new Tempe Town Lake Bike and Pedestrian Bridge, and an interesting bridge at the “Scottsdale Waterfront” that spans a canal.  Paved paths along the Scottsdale Greenbelt, Tempe Town Lake and several canals enable fun fabulous off-road cycles in this area.

 

This fabulous bike bridge along the south end of Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho is a highlight of the spectacular 72-mile paved Trail of the Coeur d’ Alenes, that follows the former route of the old silver mining trains.

 

This former railway bridge now carries bikes ‘n pipes across the Columbia River as part of the scenic Wenatchee bike trail system that spans both sides of the river.

 

And finally, the construction of the sleek Mike Gotch Memorial Bridge over Rose Creek Inlet in San Diego in 2012 was literally a life saving project, taking hordes of cyclists off of a dangerous road and onto less crowded streets and pathways around Mission Bay.

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Take Trains to Scenic SoCal Coastal Bike Rides – So Cal Life Mag Article

By Richard Fox

Southern California is serviced by Amtrak and several bike-friendly regional rail lines.  I wrote an article for Southern California Life Magazine’s July-August 2015 issue highlighting the best easy scenic bike rides accessible along Amtrak’s Surfliner coastal route, as well as the local Metrolink and Coaster lines that use the same tracks between Ventura and San Diego Counties.

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San Diego’s Mission Bay area – An Easy Scenic Cyclist’s Paradise

San Diego’s Mission Bay, once a wetland that was dredged to create a water playground surrounded by public parks, is nirvana for those who like easy and scenic bike rides.  Trails that surround most of it are mainly flat as a pancake and hug the bay, with a connection to the 3-mile long Ocean Front Walk that parallels the blue pacific. Currently two large campgrounds, Mission Bay RV Resort and Campland-On-the Bay provide a great base for exploration, and resort hotels along the route include Hilton San Diego, Paradise Point Resort on Vacation Island, Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, and Catamaran Resort in Pacific Beach.

There are countless options to stop for a Bike ‘n Brunch experience in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, numerous places to rent bikes, and trail connections that lead to area highlights such as Ocean Beach, historic Old Town San Diego, and Sea World.  A nice loop route on side streets connects Mission Bay to the lovely La Jolla district, and you can even ride down to the San Diego Harbor trails and take a ferry to Coronado for more great riding, but that’s the subject of another story.

Route signage is just so-so on the routes, so you’ll need a good bike map such as that found in enCYCLEpedia to avoid getting lost.  Also be aware that doing a complete loop around the bay involves some low-traffic street riding, and crossing a bridge in a bike lane or sidewalk.

Check out my entry on this topic in the San Diego Reader’s travel article contest of April 2015 (It was one of the finalists). Also see their Facebook page.

Cycling around the north end of Mission Bay with the San Diego skyline in the distance.
Cycling around the north end of Mission Bay with the San Diego skyline in the distance.
Parallel trails at the southeast corner of Mission Bay.
Parallel trails at the southeast corner of Mission Bay.
A great trail curves around the northwest corner of MIssion Bay.
A great trail curves around the northwest corner of MIssion Bay.
The Mike Gotch bridge (2012) over Rose Creek at the northeast corner of the bay vastly improved the loop ride.
The Mike Gotch bridge (2012) over Rose Creek at the northeast corner of the bay vastly improved the loop ride.
Ocean Front Walk can be a fabulous 3 mile cruise if you avoid peak times when it can be a zoo.
Ocean Front Walk can be a fabulous 3 mile cruise if you avoid peak times when it can be a zoo.
Scenic north end of Ocean Front Walk.
Scenic north end of Ocean Front Walk.
A sunset scene from Mission Bay RV Resort.
A sunset scene from Mission Bay.

RV Life Nov ’14 Article – Best Camp ‘n Rides – from enCYCLEpedia

RVLifeCvr2014Nov

I wrote an article on the Top 10 Camp ‘n Rides in Southern California for the November 2014 issue of RV Life Magazine – November 2014 Issue.    Here is the article from page 27. 

Rv Life Magazine Nov 2014